Asian river cruise line Pandaw closes

River cruise line Pandaw has ceased operations, blaming the Covid-19 crisis.

Founded in 1995, Pandaw operated on rivers in Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar and India.

It said in a statement: “Pandaw regrets to announce that due to the continuing Covid-19 impact on international leisure travel, the closure of its destinations in Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos, and India, and the critical political situation in Myanmar, the company has no alternative but to cease its river cruise operations due to the lack of financial liquidity and failure to find additional funding in the wake of the Covid 19 crisis.”

The company said forward bookings for a restart in 2022 remained strong but it lacks the money to continue lay-up operations for the fleet of 17 ships, which will also need refurbishment before a resumption of operations.

Paul Strachan, Pandaw founder, said: “This is a very sad moment for me, my family, our crews and clients.

“It marks the end of an era for all of us after 25 years of real adventure.

“We are truly sorry to disappoint our regular passengers who were so looking forward to making a trip after the lifting of travel restrictions.

“We are also heartbroken for our 300-plus crew members and shoreside personnel who have stood by Pandaw and were hoping to get going again next year.”

Despite the closure of Pandaw Cruises, the Pandaw Charity, which supports people in Myanmar, will continue its work under the guidance of its trustees.

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